Barbie Unleashed A Veritable Avalanche

Margot Robbie isn’t done playing games.

Fresh off her success as a producer and star of “Barbie,” Robbie is creating a Monopoly movie through her production company, LuckyChap. They’ll be joining forces with the game’s parent company, Hasbro Entertainment, and Lionsgate, which owns the rights, to bring the classic board game to film. The companies announced the news at the CinemaCon conference in Las Vegas.

“I could not imagine a better production team for this beloved and iconic brand than LuckyChap,” Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Chair Adam Fogelson said in a news release Wednesday. “They are exceptional producers who choose their projects with great thought and care and join Monopoly with a clear point of view.”

LuckyChap, which Robbie leads along with her husband, Tom Ackerley, and Josey McNamara, was instrumental in the success of “Barbie.” After the company joined the production team, Robbie convinced Mattel and Warner Bros. of the movie’s massive potential and the need for Greta Gerwig to be its director.

The film grossed more than $1 billion at the box office last summer and became a pop culture hit. Fans flocked to movie theaters dressed in pink costumes and glitter to celebrate the film. “Barbie” snagged one Oscar award in March when Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” won best original song.

“Monopoly is a top property — pun fully intended,” said LuckyChap in a news release. “Like all of the best IP, this game has resonated worldwide for generations, and we are so excited to bring this game to life alongside the wonderful teams involved at Lionsgate and Hasbro.”

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Robbie and LuckyChap are on a roll with toy- and game-themed projects. Last month, Robbie’s production arm announced a movie based on The Sims, a popular video game where players lead simulated people through simulated lives. The game had a massive following in the early 2000s and is still around today with various new renditions.

Despite some speculation online that Robbie might be carving out a niche as an auteur of game and toy films, her company has worked on many productions unrelated to games since “Barbie,” including “Saltburn” and “My Old Ass.”

A film about the capitalistic board game Monopoly will be another attempt by Hasbro to turn its intellectual property into a box office success. So far, it has seen mixed results. Though Transformers movies keep coming in droves and snag millions, only one (a spinoff, mind you) has had critical praise. Similarly, the toy company’s movies “Battleship” (2012) and “Power Rangers” (2017), as well as movies based on the Ouija board game and G.I. Joe, have been critically panned with middling box office returns.

Hollywood has shifted its gaze toward toy-based movies following the success of “Barbie” and the animated “Lego Movie” before it. There’s already an “emotional and grounded and gritty” story about Hot Wheels cars by J.J. Abrams (cue the lens flare) in development, as well as a “Polly Pocket” film by Lena Dunham. And Vin Diesel has already punched his ticket to make a Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots movie. Mattel has also teased movies about — deep breath — American Girl dolls, Barney, the Magic 8 Ball, action figure Major Matt Mason, the Masters of the Universe, Thomas the Tank Engine, the card game Uno and the ocular toy View-Master.

It’s unclear what a Monopoly movie will look like. The more-than-a-century-old board game is a largely luck-based competition to acquire real estate, whose only recognizable character is the top-hat-wearing Monopoly man (or Rich Uncle Milburn Pennybags). Hasbro Entertainment’s head of film, Zev Foreman, said the game “provides an incredible platform for storytelling opportunities.”

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Director Ridley Scott told Vulture back in 2010 that he had an idea for a Monopoly movie “with the large houses and funny top hats and that sort of thing.” Hasbro nixed the idea, so he reimagined it as something about a Donald Trump-like character having to work with real estate tycoons. “It’s about greed,” he told Vulture. “… Greed becomes, hopefully, hysterically funny.”

Some people have already theorized that the movie will mimic the game itself: “It’s going to go on way too long and the ending will be really obvious an hour out,” wrote Robert Colvile on X.

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